Starting off the first session was LIMRA corporate VP and director Todd Silverhart who shared key findings from recent research that examined the experience across the customer’s journey who purchased life policies after the onset of the pandemic.
High tech with human touch to optimise life insurance customer experience
With over 3,800 responses from the research that was done during July to August 2020, the findings revealed that the pandemic accelerated insurer’s digital agendas and underwriting. As companies get access to more and better data, and with technology continuing to evolve, the digital and underwriting sphere will no doubt expand further.
With more digital tools enabling the business, human touch will remain critical but will take on a different form. With protocols and safe distancing measures in place, Mr Silverhart shared how the research revealed consumers’ preference for buying, “When we looked at how people bought and prefer to buy, we saw decrease in face-to-face interaction with agents and advisers and saw an increased use of a combination of an individual along with technology.”
Turning a challenge into an opportunity
“Prospecting is tough.”
“Getting referrals is tough.”
If these were your to-go excuses before the pandemic hit, most likely you are still repeating the same spiel in 2021.
Quoting Winston Churchill “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”, Joyce Chan, two-time Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards winner, shared six instances where you can turn a difficulty into an opportunity.
Reduced “noise” – With majority of the workforce working from home, people are no longer flooded by financial consultants (FC) at train stations or booths at malls. In that sense, there is less competition, and more clients looking for FCs.
Lower barriers to an appointment – People are no longer spending time commuting between places, and it’s less disruptive for people to schedule a video call.
More savings/ spare cash – Funds from travelling are freed up and lavish expenses are reduced.
The internet is a mess – Tech savvy clients might find differing opinions everywhere on the internet. Therefore, it creates a need to have a professional guide them through the information.
Emphasised need on stability – The pandemic has brought about a lot of uncertainties, so there is a need to help create certainty and stability in clients’ life by planning for uncertainties.
Mortality salience – With a greater awareness that death or falling ill is inevitable and uncontrollable, there is an increase psychological need to get insurance. Providing clients with assurance through insurance will provide them peace of mind.
Clients see you as One
“Every time I look at it, I am reminded how much a murmuration resembles a digital ecosystem,” said Advisor and Future of Work speaker Anita Lettink as she kicked off with a video of a flock of starlings flying as a group.
“You don’t see individual starlings even thought there are thousands of them. You only see one group fluently moving as one. It all seems unplanned, but there’s a strategy in place, and it’s orchestrated and seamless. When a predator shows up, they increase their speeds and work together.”
Like in wildlife, it applies to your business ecosystem, and you have better chances of survival if you are in the group. In a digital ecosystem, there should be one face to work with the clients, operating with agility and speed, and offering a unique value proposition based on the combined strength of the partners.
One of the factors Ms Lettink mentioned for a good digital ecosystem is understanding that clients do not see the other departments, vendors and partners when using your platform, they see you as one just like the murmuration of a thousand birds flying as one.
“No matter the number of participants behind the scenes, and regardless of which partner fulfils the client’s request, toward the customer you must work as one,” she said.
Opportunities at every life stage
Inspirational Leader of the Year 2015, Colin Ong who is the founder of Advisors’ Clique and executive senior director at Great Eastern Financial Advisers covered an array of pointers, from profiling potential recruits to networking and sales, to leadership.
Having achieved Million Dollar Round Table 25 times and Court of the Table in 2020, Mr Ong said there is the potential to build substantial passive income over time. One just needs to build 300 clients over three to five years and review them annually. With each client undergoing different life stages, they will take up new policies over time or refer you to their network.
“This is the power of this business. It’s cradle to grave where there’s opportunity at every life stage, and essentially, your clients will grow with you.”
Culture makes or breaks strategy
With studies showing that while companies with poor people and company management protocols see as much as 80% of their transformation projects fail, companies with a healthy culture see as much as four times more revenue growth compared to companies that do not manage their culture well. Human Inc CEO Christoffer Erichsen shared findings from studies on how culture can make or break business strategies and why it is key to winning today and tomorrow.
Findings include how talent thinks about work, with 60% of Gen Z expecting their job to impact the world and be purposeful. And 44% of millennials are more likely to increase their work engagement if their managers meet with them regularly. With many expecting great digital and offline experience, where their work and career is aligned to their identity, belonging and growth.
“Great culture attracts, retains and engages today’s talent.” Here are five building blocks:
Decision-making – Is decision-making too top-down or collaborative and inclusive? At Google, data is key in decision-making. Quoting Laszlo Bock from Google, “When we have a problem, we get a set of facts, and someone takes one position, and someone takes an opposing position.”
Communication – Are your vision, mission and values embedded in how people behave in your company or collecting dust in the corner? Promoting and obsessing the same behaviours within the company will align your employees.
Artifacts and technology – Keeping up to date with technology and doing away with old technology.
Leadership – How leaders are coaching teams to drive their success leaving people better than when they first joined.
Rituals, practices and behaviours – Having a weekly meeting to check in with each employee or have a virtual wall where employees can post an image of what they did over the weekend can boost engagement and build a sense of belonging.
Increase retention with the 25 Point System
John Baier, GAMA International’s 2013 Hall of Fame Inductee, will share personal case study experiences and best practices for successful agent retention and productivity results.
According to Mr Baier, 89% of financial advisers in the US leave the business at the end of year three. And that equates to high costing with a huge amount spent in recruiting, training, and licensing them. One company did the mathematics and came up with every 1% increase in retention, $50m is saved per year.
“It doesn’t matter how many people you recruit if you can’t retain them.” Baier’s solution is closing the back door to fill up the room based on his industry-renowned 25 Point System, a planning system that tracks daily activities to setting a three-year plan.
The planning process starts with envision what one would like to achieve in three years’ time. “The first year is the most important, because if you hit in the first year, you don’t have to make adjustments in your second and third year.”
On a psychological plane, Baier believes that hitting their targets in the first year increases the individual’s resolve to go on to the second and third year and go on to build their careers as an adviser.
Insurance Inspired 2021 is organised by Asia Advisers Network and Asia Insurance Review, and co-organised by LIMRA. The event is sponsored by AIA, with supporters Muang Thai Life, Thai Life Insurance, and 25 Point Systems.
Missed out day 1 of #InsuranceInspired? Get the highlights here:
Insurance Inspired Day 1 Highlights: Adapting to a post-COVID world
We recently crowned winners at the 6th Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards, join us as we celebrate Asia's best financial practitioners, senior executives, bancassurance partners and insurance companies in the life insurance and financial advisory industry across the region! Once again, kudos to all finalists and winners and our gratitude to the distinguished panel of judges, and EY as the independent auditor.
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